President Uhuru Kenyatta has vowed to deliver two key projects in the Coast region before his term ends next year.
The President said he had built thousands of kilometres of road and some are nearly complete since he took over and now his priority in his last year will be to ensure the land and water crises are resolved in the region.
His government will issue title deeds to millions of Coast residents, he said, and ordered the construction of the Sh42 billion Mzima Spring II to begin immediately so as to end water woes in Taita-Taveta, Kilifi, Kwale and Mombasa counties.
Speaking in Rabai, Kilifi County, while issuing 2,100 title deeds to locals, Mr Kenyatta said he had prioritised the Coast region in his last year in office and promised to conclude his project of issuing land documents to locals.
“Today we are issuing 2,100 titles to Rabai people to add to 3,800 titles issued by my government since 2013 and I promise to come back in September this year to conclude this process in this sub-county,” he said.
He has issued more than 500,000 titles in the Coast region and about 5 million across the country and he intends to end perennial land wrangles by giving out more land ownership documents.
During the function, he warned grabbers of government land to surrender them.
“We have identified a number of areas which have had land wrangles such as the unresolved Mazrui family land dispute but Lands Cabinet Secretary Farida Karoney has promised to resolve them and we shall issue them with titles before the end of this year,” he said.
On water, Mr Kenyatta described Mzima Spring II, which will pump 105,000 cubic metres per day, as the only solution to the Coast’s water woes, saying he will ensure the project kicks off soon.
“We have seen companies increasing in different counties in the Coast region and the water problem is attributed to this increase of population. That is why I’m asking the relevant department to ensure the project kicks off immediately so as the region gets clean and safe water,” he said.
The government has obtained China’s nod to fund the Mzima Springs II pipeline to alleviate the region’s water woes, especially in Mombasa, which requires about 150 million litres of water daily. That demand is expected to increase to 187 million litres next year, explaining the urgency of the project.
Mzima Springs II, once operational, is expected to boost water supply to towns in Mombasa, Taita-Taveta, Kwale and Kilifi counties.
The government last year signed a funding deal with China’s Exim Bank after the bank’s board approved the environmental impact assessment.
The assessment report, seen by Nation, shows that the Mzima Springs II project will comprise the headwork, intake, main water supply pipeline, break pressure tanks, water supply along the pipeline route and water delivery to the terminal tanks in Mazeras.
The project will run parallel to the existing Mzima Spring I pipeline and there is adequate wayleave for the second pipeline, making the project attractive to donors considering issues such as compensation and relocation, which are often an obstacle for projects, have been taken care of.